JCO hurt in attacks on patrols near India-Myanmar border in Arunachal, Nagaland
Officials aware of the matter cited initial probe and added it suggested the role of United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent and the Yung Aung faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland
Guwahati: A junior commissioned officer (JCO) was injured on Tuesday as an Assam Rifles patrol and a post were attacked by suspected militants at separate places along the India-Myanmar border in Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland, triggering exchanges of fire, a defence spokesperson said.
Public relations officer (defence) Lt Col AS Walia said the incident took place around 3.15 am at Pangsau Pass post near the international border when the insurgents fired on a patrolling team of Assam Rifles.
“An incident of firing on Assam Rifles troops by militant groups from across the Indo Myanmar border took place early morning in the general area of Tirap and Changlang district,” Walia said.
Troops were undertaking enhanced patrolling activities in view of heightened vigil ahead of the Independence Day celebrations when the incident took place, he said. “One JCO sustained minor injury in hand. No injury or any other damage reported,” Walia said, adding that enhanced surveillance will continue.
In a tweet later in the day, the Spear Corps of Indian Army said Assam Rifles has “foiled an infiltration bid” (from Myanmar to India) of insurgent groups at Pangsau Pass in Changlang district on Tuesday morning. “Infiltration attempted under cover of stand-off fire in bad weather and low visibility. Enhanced vigil continues,” it stated.
Officials familiar with the matter suspected the role of United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) and the Yung Aung faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) or NSCN-KYA in the attack.
The attacks came three days after the two groups, which have camps in Myanmar, called for a shutdown in Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura and Meghalaya on August 15 and asked people against participating in “fake Independence Day activities”.
An official in Changlang, requesting anonymity, said the JCO sustained injury probably from splinters of a grenade and that there was retaliatory firing and the cross-fire lasted for around 30 minutes. The attackers fled the scene but a counter-offensive to trace them has not been launched yet due to the difficult terrain.
The attack came hours after suspected militants from NSCN-KYA attacked an Assam Rifles post in Nagaland’s Noklak district. Retaliatory shots were fired even as no casualty was reported.
The NSCN-KYA in 2015 unilaterally ended its 2001 ceasefire agreement with the Centre before it was banned.
(With inputs from Alice Yhoshu in Kohima)
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